High heat & strong storms Thursday lead to cooler, calmer weekend

The year's first real heat wave produced temperatures well into the 90s Wednesday making it the hottest day so far this year. Myrtle Beach reached 90° for the first time in 2013 while Florence peaked at 96°, the hottest it's been since hitting 97° on August 2nd of last year.

Thursday is poised to be even hotter. With plenty of sunshine and westerly winds, temperatures will soar into the mid to upper 90s Thursday afternoon. Factor in the high humidity, and it will feel even hotter. Heat Index values will peak between 100° - 105° during the afternoon.

With so much heat and humidity, all that's needed is a trigger to force storms to erupt. That trigger is an unusually strong cold front that will plow into the Carolinas late in the afternoon and evening.

A broken line of storms will likely develop ahead of the front and race southeast across the area between 6pm - Midnight. It appears the line will move through the Pee Dee and Border Belt between 6pm - 9pm and the Grand Strand between 9pm - Midnight.

Here's what to expect as the line of storms moves through:

Tornadoes - This type of severe weather event usually produces very few tornadoes so the threat is extremely low.

High Wind - Storms building into higher winds aloft can transport that very strong wind to the surface and cause damage. This threat is significant with any storm.

Hail - Storms will be capable of large hail, but it's unlikely the hail will cause significant damage. This threat is low.

Flooding - Even with all the recent rain, these storms will be moving fast so the possibility of flooding is extremely low.

Keep in mind, not everyone will see severe weather, but it's wise to stay aware of what's going on through the evening so storms don't catch you off guard.

As usual, our First Alert weather team will keep you posted all day and night Thursday. Storms will clear the area by midnight.

Once the front sweeps off the coast, a refreshing air mass moves in just in time for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Expect lots of sunshine, lower humidity and relatively cooler air. High temperatures will peak in the 80s while low temperatures fall into the 60s.